When guitarist and singer Paul Turnipseed arrived in Southern Oregon, he immediately got plugged into the local music scene, bringing his New Orleans flavor to an already diverse musical community.
Turnipseed moved to Medford in December 2012 after 10 years living and performing in Mexico when he wasn't gigging in New Orleans.
"I have a 20-month-old daughter and I'm here to be a dad basically," said Turnipseed. "All this other stuff is incidental, but it's cool, too."
The guitarist performs solo and in bands such as LOVEBITE and Spawn of Satin. Every other Monday he plays with his trio, rounded out by Mike Fitch on drums and Jeff Addicott on bass, at the Playwright Public House in Ashland.
"I met Jeff at a Dave Scoggins jam session where I met a whole pile of musicians that I did end up playing with," said Turnipseed. "I've played with so many people that I met that evening."
Together they play an eclectic set of cover tunes with influences of jazz and blues that are heavily rhythm-based and groove-oriented, said Turnipseed.
The regular Monday night gigs alternate with performances by Cyd Smith, who asked Turnipseed to perform every Monday she didn't play.
"So I had a gig and I had to get a band, and these were the guys I picked," said Turnipseed.
After meeting Addicott, who also plays with a number of local bands, earlier in the year, Turnipseed heard through the grapevine about Mike Fitch, a drummer who came highly recommended.
"I had people recommend Paul, too," said Fitch, "and then we became Facebook friends and he told me about this gig. I heard so much about him I figured it was safe to say yes."
Just like that, without any rehearsal, the three met at the Playwright and started playing together.
"It's exciting to get some fresh blood, especially from a place as rich as New Orleans," said Addicott. "That's where most of my favorite music originates. To get a little slice of that is a real blessing."
Turnipseed has been playing guitar since he was 12 and says that his musical evolution grew with his father's record collection.
"He had a lot of classic rock at first and then he got into jazz and blues that he really delved into, like a huge collector," said Turnipseed. "If he was going to get a Miles Davis record he was going to get every Miles Davis record."
Turnipseed performed with bands in his hometown in Connecticut before he moved to go to school at the University of New Orleans, where there were opportunities to gig day and night.
"It's been the way I've made my meager living for the last 25 years," said Turnipseed.
For the Tidings Cafe, the trio performed a percussive rendition of "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me" in Fitch's home in Ashland. To view the video, go to www.dailytidings.com/tidingscafe.
For now the trio has fun putting its own spin on familiar songs, but Turnipseed is working on writing some new material.
All three musicians keep busy playing in different formations. Fitch and Addicott also play with Salsa Brava. Addicott just finished performing with Sage Meadows at the Country Music Festival a few weeks ago and still manages to hold down a day job of blowing glass at Gathering Glass.
Fitch and Turnipseed just joined Craig Wright's new band, Spawn of Satin, and is busy playing in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's production of "The Unfortunates."
"It's like over 100 shows. I still find myself entertained by it night after night," said Fitch.
At the regular Monday night Playwright gigs, the trio often has other musicians join them to add to the fun.
"Daniel Chavez is a saxophonist that has sat in with us and Peter Spring has come and played a wooden flute with us," said Turnipseed. "Cyd has sat in with us, Danielle Kelly and Marcella Ruikis has sat in with us and Dan Fellman (on guitar), so we keep it open, we don't try to hog it."
"It's a nice little scene in there," said Fitch.
The trio will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, at the Playwright Public House, 258 A St. Ashland. There is no cover charge.
Reach Mandy Valencia at email@example.com.